We often hear the phrase that there is no ‘I’ in TEAM. This means that when you are part of a team, you cannot work on your own but need to work with your colleagues within the team. In the 21st century, one of the soft skills that is requested by employers is for an individual to be able to work within a team. This is because we understand that there are several advantages to working with others. Every person presents with their own skillset and strengths and therefore, everyone has something to offer. A purposeful team will identify what these strengths and skills are so that together they can build a team which functions effectively.

Each team member has ideas and when the team brainstorms together, much more ideas are generated than any one single person could produce on their own. Discussing with someone else helps you to look at an idea or problem from a different perspective which you may have never considered before. Thus, working in a team can help you to grow both on a personal and professional level as you are continuously learning from others and building your interpersonal skills.

There are different types of teams, one of which is the multidisciplinary team. This means that different professionals within their area of expertise work together within the same team to achieve a common goal. An example of a multidisciplinary team is the “Willingness Team”. Professionals from different fields make up this team some of which include: counsellors, psychologists, career guidance practitioners, family therapists, psychotherapists and a life coach. The aim of this team is to provide clients with an opportunity to reflect, explore and grow thus helping them with different issues they may be encountering in their life.

When you work with professionals who have different expertise and skills, you can generate more innovative ideas as you are relying on different backgrounds to create something together. The advantage of working with people who do not do the exact same job as you is, that you can hear new ideas and gather knowledge which you may have been unaware of. Whereas sometimes, when you work with colleagues who do your same job, you might be discussing ‘more of the same’. Working in a diverse team can provide new opportunities, help to overcome new challenges and gain new insights.

Working in a team may also encourage you to take a leap into engaging into a project or certain duties that otherwise you wouldn’t have. Having the backup of your teammates and their support may be what you need to take a risk into trying something new, something that usually you wouldn’t go for. This helps you to get out of your comfort zone and therefore grow.

Dr Marilyn Muscat is registered as an Educational Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council in the United Kingdom where she trained. She works with children, adolescents and their families to understand more about educational, social and emotional well-being concerns that they have and to help them improve upon their difficulties. She can be contacted on marilyn@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.